Alternative to the breakfast buffet


A blog by Marjolein van Spronsen about sustainable breakfasts in hotels. She no longer believes in large buffets and recently came across a nice solution.

For years I have been surprised by the lavish breakfast buffets in hotels, with cooking islands where your eggs, pancakes, waffles, French toast and so on, are prepared freshly. International hotels prepare the most incredible dishes for their guests, smoked salmon is almost always available and sometimes even oysters. More than enough choices for everyone! Now however, I have reached an age where I tend to eat less, and if I look at what others get stuffed on their plates, I am always surprised! I sometimes even have the urge to point out to my fellow buffet users that the pancakes with maple leaf syrup don’t have to be on the same plate with their salmon.

But besides that, I wonder what happens to all the food that has been on a buffet for 3 or 4 hours. I have already heard of solutions such as using it for staff meals, but I suspect that part of it will still be thrown away. Especially true for the 4 and 5 star hotels is the fact that their guests will age in the coming years and will start to eat less. When looking at myself for example, I’m in my late fifties, and  can’t imagine a greater breakfast than some fresh fruit, a glass of juice, freshly baked bread with fresh butter, jam and/or cheese and maybe sometimes a croissant. And my morning espresso of course!

It’s a bit of a shame to set up an entire buffet! But of course I understand that you want to offer choices to all your guests. We recently came across another example in France. Hotel Domaine de Rochevilaine has found a great alternative way to serve breakfast. They don’t have a buffet but a breakfast menu. You can choose from 4 breakfasts menus, a breakfast with a local sweetness (kouign-amann), fresh juice of your choice, a baguette with freshly made jam and local butter, a bowl of seasonal fruit and a small yoghurt. Moreover, you could also opt for a Breton breakfast (the hotel is located in the region Bretagne) with fish dishes, a healthy breakfast with granola, oatmeal, yogurt and vegetable juices and last but not least a breakfast with eggs. Of course with coffee and tea.

Certainly if you don’t have a lot of rooms, serving breakfast this way is a lot more sustainable and easy to oversee for the breakfast chefs.


Marjolein van Spronsen, responsible for Marketing & Communicationa at van Spronsen & Partners horeca – advies. You can reach out via or phone number: 071 541 88 67 or via LinkedIn.

This blog was published before in Dutch at the website of Van Spronsen & Partners hospitality consultants.


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